April Second Saturday Launches Spring Season in Bay
Apr 12, 2013, 18:51
The Second Saturday Artwalk, one of the coast’s favorite monthly events, heralds the spring season in Old Town Bay St. Louis today.
While Old Town traditionally bustles all day during the event, the official Second Saturday Artwalk festivities take off from 4– 8 p.m. With gallery openings, live music, and extended shop hours, the family-oriented event has become a regional tradition over the past two decades.
Second Saturday “Hot Spots” are featured each month, highlighting different Old Town merchants. During April, the Hot Spots are the Bay St. Louis Little Theatre and Uptown Interiors (111 Main Street).
The Bay St. Louis Little Theatre (BSLLT) is located in the Depot District of Old Town, in one of the most prominent – and show-stopping – historic buildings on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. During the April Second Saturday festivities on the 13th, the group will be set up on the corner of Main and Second Streets. “Ten North Frederick,” a band made up of members of the theatre group will be performing, while the group will be offering information about upcoming shows and selling season’s tickets.
BSLLT recently won a prestigious Governor’s Award for the Arts. The awards are presented annually to outstanding writers, artists, performers, craftsmen and educators who have made significant and lasting contributions through their work, as well as to corporations or organizations on the basis of their dedication to arts advancement.
One of BSLLT’s major accomplishments that merited statewide recognition is the rescue and restoration of their actual theatre. The building on Blaize Avenue, was the set of a Robert Redford/Natalie Wood in the 1960s – “This Property is Condemned.” After Hurricane Katrina, the building faced demolition and was dramatically saved at the eleventh hour by a coalition that included BSLLT, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, and the Mississippi Arts Commission. Today, the building stands as a monument to the power of community.
The BSLLT theatre company embodies that same community spirit. Most BSLLT shows are sell-outs through the season, since the theatre has a reputation for people-pleasing productions put on with professional expertise. But while the group boasts many seasoned actors, producers and directors, past president Cheryl Grace says that first timers are always welcomed.
“That’s the beauty of community theatre,” says Grace. “Introducing the thrill to newcomers who have been bitten by the acting bug.”
Closer to the beachfront on the first block on Main Street, the Hot Spot star status goes to Uptown Interiors (111 Main Street). The mother-daughter team of Doris Felder and Ginger Felder Cook have put together a collection of furniture, home décor, and fashion that has established the store as an Old Town anchor and a Gulf Coast favorite.
Uptown Interior is the brainchild of Ginger, who grew up in Bay St. Louis. While she was majoring in Communications at college in Mobile, she took a job in retail and discovered her first love – and her own hidden talents. When customers began raving over the shop windows that Ginger designed, the shop’s owner gave the college student more and more responsibilities. Ginger learned to buy, price, display, wrap, and work with customers, giving her the foundation that would later serve her well in her own business.
Ginger eventually married, had two children and moved “back home” in spring 2005 with the goal of starting a shop in the Bay - one that was unlike anything else in the area. She and her mother Doris teamed up, got a business license and began purchasing merchandise for the new store. Ginger’s home – next door to her parent’s house in Waveland – was stuffed with stock when Hurricane Katrina hit in August. Both houses were completely destroyed.
The mother of a four year old and a six month old at the time, Ginger refused to give up her dream. She believes now that focusing on the shop was theraputic as the family worked to rebuild their lives. Doris and Ginger started literally from the ground up and rented the front part of Hairworks Salon in Bay St. Louis, opening their first location of Uptown Interiors just three months after Katrina. By April 2006, they’d outgrown the location and moved into a larger space on Highway 90.
But Old Town kept beckoning.
“My heart was here,” says Ginger. “I wanted to be a part of getting my hometown back and looking good. I felt like being in Old Town was important.”
Uptown Interiors is now housed in a historic building, with huge windows and exposed brick walls. The shop, which has become a popular bridal registry spot - is filled with unique furniture and home décor, accented with chic contemporary paintings by regional artists.
In response to customer requests, the store now also carries clothes and fashion accessories as well. Ginger calls her fashion lines “cutting-edge casual,” saying that she focuses on cotton clothing which is fun and reasonably priced. Some of the more popular lines that can be found in Uptown Interiors are Beatriz Ball, Candace Mannino Pottery, Flambeau Lighting, Susannah Elle Jewelry, VaVa & Voom.
Ginger has recently revived the event and wedding planning side of her business as well. She says she goes for the “WOW” factor. Ginger delights in taking things “up to the next level,” and bringing the clients’ dreams to life, using creative and contemporary touches that make the events memorable. jh
During Second Saturday, Uptown Interiors will be offering 10% off throughout the store – and customers will have lots of new summer clothing, wedding gifts, art and décor to choose from. JJ and Mad Dog will be performing during the evening festivities.
For complete Second Saturday information, go to: www.baystlouisoldtown.com.